When the Commissioner lacks jurisdiction.

Hey, Loyal Daily Dawg Readers! We’re Zooming at 10:00 this morning! Hope to see you there.   I’ll be joined by my partner, Kelley Kalchthaler, and we’ll be talking about COVID…and a few other things. 

At the Walsh Gallegos Law Firm we seek to “help the people who help the kids.” One of the ways we do that is by helping to get cases dismissed when the tribunal lacks jurisdiction.  The Commissioner has limited jurisdiction, and yet, he does not dismiss cases on his own motion.  The Respondent school district has to do something, has to point out why the case should be dismissed.   

Wesley Nute, from our Irving office, did that for Lake Dallas ISD.  A paraprofessional who was terminated from employment filed a Petition for Review with T.E.A., seeking to appeal the school board’s denial of her grievance. But as Wesley pointed out in the district’s response, you can’t get a hearing at T.E.A. unless you at least allege a violation of the “school laws of Texas” or a breach of contract that caused monetary harm.  There were no such allegations and the Commissioner dismissed the case.  It’s Perkins v. Lake Dallas ISD, Docket No. 033-R10-04-2021, decided on August 3, 2021. 

Morgan Beam and Melanie Charleston from our Houston office got a similar result for Fort Bend ISD.   This one involved a teacher who resigned, and wanted to file a grievance over various issues. But she never did file that grievance, alleging that she was told that grievances were not being accepted due to COVID.  Over a year later, she filed a Petition for Review with T.E.A. As Morgan and Melanie pointed out: 1) there was nothing to review, since the board never heard any grievance; 2) it was filed way late; and 3) there was no allegation of a violation that would give the Commissioner jurisdiction.  Case dismissed on August 4. It’s Amentini v. Fort Bend ISD, Docket No. 029-R10-02-2021.


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at jwalsh@wabsa.com